Addressing an alleged victim’s sexual past

On Behalf of | May 14, 2015 | Sex Crimes

Being accused of a sexual offense is a serious allegation, and one that, if not taken seriously, could have drastic consequences. Those convicted of these sex crimes face the very real possibility of years in prison, severe damage to reputation, and lifetime monitoring via the sex offender registry. In essence, these individuals can never truly pay their debt to society, as many will always be labeled a sex offender. With so much at risk, it is crucial that those facing these types of allegations know the law that they must confront.

One issue that often comes up in sex crime charges is evidence of the alleged victim’s sexual history and sexual conduct. Though such evidence may be helpful to an accused individual facing prosecution, it is often very difficult to get it admitted into court. In fact, a defendant must convince a judge that the evidence is material to a fact at issue in the case and that the prejudicial nature of the information is not greater than its value to determining the matter at hand. In other words, the evidence being sought for admission must be critical to the case itself and must be so critical that it outweighs any negative impact it may have on the alleged victim’s image in the eyes of the jury.

Typically, judges will limit this evidence to the alleged victim’s sexual past with the accused and of instances of sexual acts that may help clarify the source of disease, pregnancy, or semen. These matters are often very difficult to address given their sensitive nature, but may be crucial to the outcome of a case.

Therefore, those facing sex crime allegations should ensure they know the law so that they can make the legal decisions that are right for them. Many times, the best way to do this is to speak with an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney.

Source: Michigan State Legislature, “750.520j Evidence of victim’s sexual conduct.” accessed on May 8, 2015



FindLaw Network